Racoons, Herons, and Bears – oh my!

I decided to paint another raccoon to practice with the fur.  I find painting raccoon fur to be tricky as it is difficult to balance the ratio of black and white fur to give the appearance of grey without mixing the colors and making a solid grey.  This takes many layers.  In a project like this I also use white gouache.  For those of you that are unfamiliar, gouache is in the watercolor family but it is opaque rather than translucent like we normally see with watercolors.  White watercolor in my opinion is basically useless.  Unlike with acrylic it doesn’t lighten the paint so much as it washes it out giving a cloudy appearance.  Painting over a dark color with white watercolor is a waste of time – you may as well use water!  Now, many artists use a masking fluid to mask out the white areas so that white is essentially the absence of paint.  I have tried this technique and although I see it’s value, I found that it is intended for a different painting style than I use.  I find that leaving blank areas removes the ability for depth and texture.  Hence, my use of gouache.


Moving on, my next project was a personal painting for my daughter, the subject of which she requested, quite specifically.  The bear to the right with fish in his mouth, turned out much better than I expected.  The reason I say this is because admittedly, I am not very good at painting water.  Again, I used white gouache to give the appearance of ripples in the water.


After my last post I promised my next bird painting would be a Blue Heron.  Again, in this one I was faced with creating the illusion of water.  I decided to give just the suggestion of water by using broad strokes only around the logs sticking out of the water.  Adding reflections in the water was also new to me, but I am pleased with the results.  

Once again I attempted to create a time-lapse video of one of my painting sessions, in this case, the Heron.  I am still learning different techniques for filming.  I filmed the session with my iPhone using an app called Hyperlapse, the result is the video below.  However, to adapt it to Instagram and Facebook requirements I had to further reduce the time of the video in iMovie.  I find the process a little finicky and am working on a smoother procedure so I can start posting instructional videos also.  Lighting for example is still an issue – even though I added additional lighting to my work space the video still came out a bit dim, possibly because of the App.  More to come on my filming adventures.  For now, enjoy!

Remember, the originals of all my artwork are available for purchase through
dailypaintworks.com or
if you prefer a less expensive option, the gicleé prints available on my
ETSY site
are printed on watercolour paper with gallery quality ink.


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